Thursday, December 28, 2006

Scrooge the Progressive

I watched the George C. Scott Christmas Carol on Christmas. Afterward I got to thinking about whose politics the unreformed Scrooge most closely matches and I came up with the Greens/Progressives.

Now I don't mean to suggest that Scrooge would think of himself as being part of either of these groups. He was what he was because he was a miser and his labor policies are diametrically opposed to the Greens and Progressives. However, Scrooge typifies many of the attitudes that these groups espouse. In fact, if they got their way, we would all be living like Scrooge.

To start with, there is Scrooge's way of life. He uses very little fuel for heat or light. In fact, he gets by on the bare minimum. I doubt that his lifetime generation of CO2 would match what Al Gore spends making a single PowerPoint presentation.

In addition to this, Scrooge probably eats local foods. There is a movement among the Greens to only live on food produced within 50 miles of where you live. While this was much easier in the 19th century, Scrooge had enough money that he could have consumed exotic spices and foreign fruits. These were available in Victoria's England if you had the money.

Scrooge's reluctance to spend money in general is echoed in the modern rejection of commercialism and consumerism.

Then there is Scrooge's reaction when asked to contribute to a (faith-based?) private charity. He thought that the poor are the government's charge, not his. Granted the workhouses and prisons of the day were far worse than modern welfare.

Scrooge's rejection of Christmas as a "humbug" fits right in with today's attack on religion by militant atheists.

Then there is is comment about reducing the surplus population. The Greens have been saying for decades that there are too many humans and wishing that something would thin the species, possibly even wiping us out. The modern Greens are often much more heartless and cold about mass human death than Scrooge ever was.

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